cover image Captive Dreams

Captive Dreams

Michael Flynn. Arc Manor/Phoenix Pick (, $14.99 trade paper (266p) ISBN 978-1-61242-059-2

Prometheus Award–winner Flynn (In the Lion’s Mouth) assembles six tales delving into deep melancholy and moral ambiguity. Each story builds from scientific what-ifs to a reality of human fragility and despair. In “Melodies of the Heart,” genetic conditions have a young girl aging too quickly and an old woman too slowly. In the title story, ideological differences hinder a young boy’s ability to make sense of afterimages and echoes floating in his brain. “Hopeful Monsters” pulls back the curtain on the world of designing babies. In “Places Where the Roads Don’t Go,” a lifelong friendship is strained when a heated debate over the nature of mind becomes more than talk. “Remember’d Kisses” explores science that offers to absolve emotional pain. In “Buried Hopes,” buried objects keep hope alive. While great writing, vivid scenarios, and thoughtful commentary outshine the scientific concepts, the stories will linger after the last page is turned. Agent: Eleanor Wood, Spectrum Literary Agency. (Aug.)